In Review: Doctor Who – The Husbands Of River Song

It's Christmas Day on a remote human colony and the Doctor is hiding from Christmas carols and comedy antlers.

Synopsis: It’s Christmas Day on a remote human colony and the Doctor is hiding from Christmas carols and comedy antlers. When a crashed spaceship calls upon the Doctor for help, he finds himself face to face with his wife River Song, who does not recognise him.

Review: As someone who is not a huge fan of the ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas episodes for ‘Doctor Who’. All I can say is that this story pretty much ticked every single of my boxes as to why ‘Doctor Who’ should never do Christmas on a yearly basis.

Story-wise it is relatively simple in that it is both a farce and a heist plot in which River Song played once more by Alex Kingston has married King Hydroflax (Greg Davies) in order to steal a precious diamond from his skull, but she needs a physician and a surgeon to remove it, which is how the Doctor becomes embroiled. 

In the story River does not recognise the Doctor because she thinks he is still in his 11th Incarnation as played by Matt Smith. This makes for what is at first a rather funny situation in which Capaldi’s 12th Doctor is dropping hints about his identity to River, but this soon becomes somewhat tiresome.

Greg Davies as King Hydroflax felt like a very one dimensional villain who was picked out from the bargain bin at you local British home stores. In fact the only purpose he or the story of this served was a chance to have Peter Capaldi’s Doctor work with River Song.

Matt Lucas provides a few light hearted moments as Nardole, but even that wasn’t really enough to hold my interest.

Hydroflax’s body having the ability to switch heads proved a little bit entertaining, but only really to the younger viewers that would have been watching. There wasn’t really to much in this episode for the fans that have just enjoyed one of the best seasons of ‘Doctor Who’ since it returned in 2005. In fact this Christmas episode actually managed to find new lows that the 8th series never achieved.

The only saving grace really was the acting performances from Peter Capaldi and Alex Kingston and the rest of the cast with some pretty good music from Murray Gold. But the writing. It pretty much felt like a story that had been drafted by an eight year old who sent it in to Blue Peter. It was very, very subpar.

I barely survived this one.

Doctor Who - The Husbands Of River Song
  • Acting
  • The Writing
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
One Comment
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    25 December 2015 at 11:41 pm -

    The character beats and performances of Capaldi and Kingston carried it. On the upside, I have BF’s Diary of River Song to look forward to.

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